The family of Naya Rivera have broken their silence to thank supporters following the confirmation that the Glee star died from accidental drowning this month.
The actress was just 33-years-old when her body was pulled from Lake Piru, Ventura County, California, on Monday, following an agonising five day search.
On Tuesday, an autopsy report ruled that the Glee star’s cause of death was drowning, caused by accident – after police suggested she had rescued her four-year-old son, Josey, by pushing him back on to a boat she had hired on the lake, but lacked the strength to get herself back on board.
Following the tragic confirmation and cause of Naya’s death, family of the star shared a statement with Deadline, revealing the devastation felt by those closest to the star.
The statement reads: “We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week.
“While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit.
“Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister.
“Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for your commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya.
“We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support.”
The family added: “Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”
Naya Rivera is survived by her parents, Yolanda and George Rivera, her brother, Mychal Rivera, her sister, Nickayla Rivera, and son Josey – who she shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey.
Tributes have been shared from fans and colleagues of the Glee star since her body was recovered from Lake Piru on Monday after a six day search.
Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, have set up a trust fund for Naya’s son to cover his future college fees.